Jones was again West Virginia's best and most consistent performer as the Mountaineers downed Cleveland State 80-78 in the Wolstein Center on Saturday afternoon. Jones got off and running early by scoring the first hoop of the game, and had 12 of WVU's first 24 points as the Mountaineers slowly built a double-digit lead in the opening half. He finished with 14 points at the break and added nine in the second for 23 overall -- the second consecutive game in which he has set a career-high scoring mark.
Jones' scoring might not have been his biggest contribution, however. He also had four assists, including a final one with just two seconds to go for the winning hoop. On the play, with the score tied, Jones took yet another ill-advised lob pass from Truck Bryant and found Da'Sean Butler cutting for the basket. That hoop saved WVU from an ugly upset loss and kept the Mountaineers undefeated.
Jones also had three rebounds, one block and one steal as the Mountaineers moved to 8-0.
It was something of an understated performance, but in the end, his line was mostly impressive. The New Jersey native finished with 18 points and nine rebounds while dealing out five assists, coming up with two steals and blocking a shot. Only five turnovers, most of them in a shaky stretch in the second half when the Viking press fueled CSU's comeback, kept him from snaring player of the game honors. Still, his contributions were vital.
"If Da'Sean fouls out, we don't win the game," head coach Bob Huggins said afterward.
Cleveland State opened the game in a 2-3 zone, and WVU shredded that look on its way to a 56% shooting mark. However, due to the many missed opportunities due to the giveaways, the Mountaineers managed just 50 shot attempts on the afternoon.